How firms can navigate regulation when it comes to fracking recruitment

March 21, 2019

Source: sasacvetkovic33/iStock

There are big profits that can be made from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as it becomes more mainstream.

For instance, BP said in February 2019 that the company more than doubled its annual profits last year to $12.7bn (£9.7bn); a figure that has been credited with the company’s purchase of numerous US assets as it prepares for the next decade.

BP has acquired $10.5bn worth of US shale assets from BHP Billiton as part of its future planning. A lot of other energy companies are looking to follow in BP’s footsteps.

That can be hard to achieve in practice, though. Across the world there are strict rules and regulations regarding fracking that energy firms must navigate, especially in a changing world that is looking for cleaner energy solutions.

Download The 2019 Global Energy Talent IndexVisit the GETI site to download the report

Ineos’ Sir Jim Ratcliffe has recently berated the UK government for its fracking regulations, calling them “unworkable”. He wants to ease regulations that say work must be halted for 18 hours if seismic activity of 0.5 and above on the Richter scale is detected at fracking sites.

Regulations can be even tighter when it comes to employee recruitment. For the business life cycle of the well to be as effective as possible, experienced professionals with specific skillsets can be the difference between a well being profitable or unprofitable.

How to recruit the best talent in fracking

That talent can be in short supply, though. The skills currently desired by oil and gas companies can be seen in the 2019 Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) report.

It shows that though wages are rising and there is a lot of optimism for the future within the oil and gas sector, 62% of 17,000 oil and gas workers say there will be a talent crisis within five years, with 32% saying it’s already here.

The discipline most affected by the talent crisis according to GETI lies in engineering, with 62% crying out for new blood that’s ready to work now. 29% are also desperate for problem-solvers with 12% needing strategic planners – all key skills that need to be deployed in the fracking process.

Where do you find that talent when commissioning the fracking of unconventional gas wells in, say, Saudi Arabia, where the government is restricting foreign workers from working in certain sectors and encouraging firms to employ Saudi citizens?

One of the biggest problems that energy companies face, though, lies precisely in fracking being a relatively new technique. Recent regulations in international regions are appearing all the time and companies must have the foresight to look ahead, remain compliant and minimise project disruption.

The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), for instance, works with the Environment Agency (EA), the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Oil and Gas Authority to coordinate the regulation of shale gas well sites.

That’s a lot of bodies to navigate and comply with when you need to plan ahead and hire skilled talent that not only fits seamlessly into your development, but also adheres to the complex rules and regulations set by regions across the world.

Airswift can help by taking the worry of recruitment regulations from your mind, leaving you to focus entirely on a successful well life cycle.

Our in-house legal team is also well-versed in international recruitment law and regularly educates and informs our global network of recruiters about local labour regulations when it comes to the energy industry; not only when it comes to sourcing the very best talent, but to also provide our partners with a strong understanding of a region’s cultural and geopolitical conditions – essential when it comes to growing within the oil and gas industry.

The Airswift Team, in partnership with Energy Jobline, compiled the GETI 2019 report, a definitive guide for workforce trends in the energy industry. Click the link below to download your copy today.

Download The 2019 Global Energy Talent IndexVisit the GETI site to download the report


This post was written by: Sara Howren, Recruitment Director at Airswift